How to Use Chalk Paint to Make Furniture Look Modern

I didn’t use to like the look of mid-century modern furniture. I suppose I thought it was so harsh and boring. I wanted color and curves and patina. But recently, with the major re-kindling of the love for all things MCM I have started to see some amazing rooms mixing MCM with rustic. Displaying photo 1.PNG Ones that don’t feel sterile and cold, but instead mix the clean lines, wood, and simplicity of MCM with the character and patina of country. Displaying photo 2.PNG And I’m in love with it. So when I acquired these nightstands from a friend who loves MCM more than me, I wanted to make sure that they were done in a way that she would still appreciate. I originally considered adding hardware to the drawers for ease. I knew that because of the style they would not look right in a typical shabby chic paint color like Old White or Duck Egg or light blue. To me with MCM, you go white or bold. IMG_0926 So I went bold. mcm pic Fortunately I headed up to my local Annie Sloan Chalk Paint stockist the day before I planned to start these. I was stocking up on paint and they had a great handout on how to adapt ASCP to your project depending on the look you want. And whadda you know, there was info about how to get a modern look. You see, ASCP is very thick which gives the finish a brushy, textured look. Which is typically quite lovely if you are going to distress. But when you want a clean, smooth finish for a modern piece this is not going to look right because you want a clean look and no distressing. So what do you do? You water down the paint. It’s that simple. So after I fixed up the nightstands I poured maybe 4 ounces of Emperor’s Silk in a plastic cup and added maybe a tablespoon of water. Just enough to change the consistency. Then I brushed it on like normal, trying to get smooth long strokes. One coat was definitely not enough but two (with a little more paint and diluting with water) was perfect. Actually, one edge got 3 coats because the wood putty made a color variation. IMG_0938 The paint went on so smooth. And as a plus, I didn’t use as much paint! I opted to not paint the drawer fronts because on further inspection I found the wood to be in pristine condition and beautiful. I waxed the paint job and called it done. IMG_1128 I think they look lovely and very modern-chic. IMG_1131 IMG_1134 IMG_1135 IMG_1144 These would be so cute as end tables or nightstands! I wish they could stay in my home but they will be heading to the booth! What do you think? Do you love MCM furniture?

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2 thoughts on “How to Use Chalk Paint to Make Furniture Look Modern

  1. I love the look. You are so right-adding a bit of paint to MCM really updates it. There are some really beautiful pieces that shouldn’t be touched but tables like yours are so much better when they are painted. I really like the wood and paint look as well.

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